21 June 2009

pass the scissors

I spent the majority of yesterday organizing entries for one of the exhibits I'm curating, Blurred Boundaries. (Still time to enter if you were thinking about it, the deadline has been extended to June 28). I love it, I consider it fun, not work. If I could find a job curating exhibits full time, I'd be all over it.

The exhibit will run in conjunction with the Fabrications Retreat (which is seriously fabulous. Not to mention the price is a steal for the amount of class time - check it out) and its the first exhibit I've curated that has not been strictly art quilts. Its thrilling me to no end. I've got ideas for other exhibits I'd like to put together now, the biggest one on the list is a plushie exhibit. I have to work that one out.

Looking at all that artwork got my wheels spinning and I decided to spend some time in the studio today. A no pressure kind of session, mostly to address The Pile. (Yes, it deserves capital letters, it has an ominous presence.) The time has come to sort, toss and set up what I want to finish.

I grabbed the scissors and got to work. (I am not afraid to cut up my work. If I'm unhappy with something, what's the worse that will happen if I cut it and don't like it after that? Nothing. So I hack away at stuff when it doesn't thrill me.)

First on the chopping block is the jacket I made for an exhibit a couple years back:

Trust me, its a jacket. I didn't realize the sleeves don't show but since its been sliced and diced already, there's no way for me to go back and take a better picture.

I am not into wearable art. At all. I admire other people's work but its not something I am drawn to create on my own. (This is a prime example of me making work that I don't want to for a specific show. We've decided this practice must stop because I really feel the work suffers for it.)

I decided that I'd like this better as an art quilt. Here is is after chopping:

I know it doesn't look too different but it is. I need a little more of the brick wall for the top corner. Once its done, I'm hoping it will resemble a brick wall graffiti type thing. We'll see. Its been pinned together and set aside to work on later.

As I was looking through The Pile, I found that a lot of my work had been forced into larger sizes. Its been a struggle, trying to feel comfortable with working on a smaller scale when so many shows and artists even require/work in larger dimensions.

The WIP pieces that I made larger because I thought "I had to" in order for it to be accepted, well, sucked to put it bluntly. I got pretty ticked at myself as I stood there and looked at that work.

Screw it, its my work. I'm making it small if I want to.

Here's an example:

This was made to be part of the Fragile series. I can't remember how long ago I put it together. I want to say well over a year ago. And every time I look for something to work on, I always pass it by. There's just something about it that I don't care for.

Three slices of the scissors and I ended up with this:

You may disagree but I find these much more interesting now. They appeal to me in a more emotional way. (The ones on the far right will get reassembled at the middle back into one strip, I wanted to offset the long vertical section a bit.)

I like it now. I'll finish it now.

I did this to at least seven pieces that were in The Pile. I now have Another Pile but they are all smaller pieces that I love and will actually finish now.

Now before you go thinking that I was cutting with abandon just for the sake of making things littler, let me reassure you I did not. If I liked the design, I left it alone. Here's proof:

Here's the part of the pile that was completed work:

I still don't know what to do about it. Bah.

So after all that cutting and sorting, I realized that I needed to actually put something together that needs to be created for a deadline. Exhibit Season approacheth, after all. The fact that I am a week away from shutdown (the one week forced vacation my company makes us take in July) means that fall is coming fast and furious. (Yes I know summer just started but I always make the mistake of thinking I have plenty of time to complete work and then I'm running around like Leann's quilt and its just not pretty. So we are striving to avoid that this year.)

I decided to work on my quilt for the other exhibit I curate, Breaking Traditions. This year's theme is Home and its raising money for Bernie Berlin’s A Place to Bark. It should come as no shock that I am doing a quilt featuring Dooley love:

I have an unnatural attraction to the current trend of retro fabric. The prints are huge and sometimes gaudy and I love them all. I have a small collection of them that I never really know what to do with. What’s even more amazing to me is that I am always in love with the way people combine them.

I’m mildly allergic to combining bold prints (love it when I see it in other people's work but can't usually do it in my own) but when it comes to these I seem to have no problem with it. I don’t know why but I just like the contradiction of them. Most of the time I find them very homey and charming so I went with that kind of combination for Dooley’s quilt. I’m probably even going to do some kind of binding, another thing I avoid like the plague. (Most of my work has raw edges. Makes it feel less quilt like.)

So that was my day. I’ve decided that today I’m just going to give the Babette blanket dirty looks. It started to get on my nerves yesterday (and some of your’s I suspect since two people unsubscribed from the blog. Oops. I told you it was the devil.) so I need a break from it. No, not as long as the last break but the studio provided some variety so it was welcome.

I also wanted to comment on one other thing. On one of the email lists that I belong to there was a question raised by someone who is just getting ready to set up her blog about what do people think constitutes a “good” blog.

I read the thread with great interest, mostly because the responses revolved around things like “I don’t want to know a darn thing about the artist, I just want to know about the art.”

Well, I guess its safe to say none of these people are reading my blog.

Here’s the thing, I’ve had this here blog for almost three years. (I’ve been a bad blog mom and have never celebrated anniversaries so the three year one will be marked and there will be a giveaway. Its coming up soon.) You all may know more about me then you want to. But for me, knowing the person who makes things is just as thrilling as the things that are made.

I don’t consider myself a better artist then anyone. Every artist has their place. I go off on tangents. I knit, I crochet, I (attempt) to spin, I obsessively coo over my dog, I do a photo essay, I make fiber art, I babble. Its all part of the process and in my mind, I can’t see how that can be separated out from the artwork.

So I just wanted to say thanks for sticking with me. I know its not all art all the time and that there may be topics that make your eyes glaze but I dig this blog. Its my favorite online toy.

Blog on.


mary said...

oh i like what you did to the jacket! i liked it to begin with but it looks great!
i know what you mean about size preferences on your own art work...i like working right around 18x24 now but can make smaller or larger but always gravitate to the 18x24 for some reason! well done on making progress i need to get off my butt today and tomorrow and do something creative....although this cough is keeping me down ugh!

Yarnhog said...

Not being an artist myself, I enjoy the art, but am more interested in the person. So don't go changing anything on my behalf. ;)

bj parady said...

I really like the blue piece you cut into smaller pieces. I've even been known to do this after the piece is quilted. Even though it means the pieces don't fit in most quilt shows. Oh, well, their loss. And even though I'm not a dog person, I still enjoy your blog.

Jean Baardsen said...

If you're not doing it to satisfy yourself, then what's the point of doing it? Trying to make a "popular" blog is like making the art pieces to fit what the show wants, rather than what suits you. Good progress on The Pile. I did that with all my paperwork today.

Karen Minturn Brown said...

I love your blog! It is just perfect as it is; knowing the "other" side is every bit as interesting as the "art" side. And Dooley is cute as a bug!

kathy n said...

I write my blog like I make my art: for me, not others. And I read yours :-)

Leann said...

You're just an interesting side note. We read the blog to see what Dooley's doing.

wlstarn said...

Personally, I think the best part of the blog are the "Lynn vs. the World" stories. Yeah, I know it wasn't funny when you accidentally dropped your phone in the snow and then stepped on it, but your blog entry WAS funny. And Dooley is a charmer (as are my 3 cats...).

Virginia from Portland said...

This is one of the few blogs that I read partly because it is ever changing! You are not predictable and I like that.